The Chess Variant Pages

Sanctuary Chess

By Paul DeWitte

 

Introduction

Most chess variants require a player to "subjugate" an opponent by checkmating his king.  In variants such as Grand Crossing Chess, Mexican King Chess, Occupation Chess, and Outpost Chess, a player sometimes wins by maneuvering his royal piece to a "safe" square or "safe" area.  In Sanctuary Chess, a player wins by moving any two non-royal pieces to the opposite end rank.

Board

The game uses the standard 8X8, 64-cell chess board.

Setup

There is neither a king nor a queen.  As a result, no piece in the game is royal.  Instead of a queen, each side has an archbishop, and instead of a king, each side has a Swiss guard.

Pieces

The game uses the same rules as regular chess, except for the differences noted in the description that follows.

According to the Piececlopedia, the archbishop goes by a variety of names, including the "cardinal", "minister", "vizir", and Fergus Duniho's elegant monicker, the "paladin".  (I have chosen the names "archbishop" and "Swiss guard" because I feel they fit with the medieval sanctuary imagery that I have tried to evoke in this game.)  The archbishop is actually a bishop-knight compound.  

The Swiss guard, a piece that I have been unable to find in the Piececlopedia, jumps one or two spaces orthogonally, or one or two spaces diagonally.  It captures in the same manner.

Rules

A player wins by getting any two pieces to the end of the board (his opponent's major-piece rank) and ensuring that his opponent cannot capture either in his next move.

A pawn does not promotes at this rank, instead it becomes an ensconced "refugee".  Such a refugee cannot move, but it also cannot be captured.  Other than for this rule, pawns behave exactly as they do in regular chess.  En passant captures are legal.  There is no castling.

Equipment

Standard chess equipment can be used.  Queens can represent archbishops; kings can represent Swiss guards.

Credits